"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

The Merriest of Christmases and the very Happiest of New Years to each and every One of you!!!!! May your stockings be FULL of Peanuts that come 3 to a shell ( or more :))!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Wonderland ... I Think

Yesterday was the first day of Winter. Now I always thought it was March that was supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, but somebody got mixed up. Why? Because last night a Blizzard Warning was issued for the Pacific Northwest Coast. Now we are not on the coast and so were not included in the warning. Besides, this is the Pacific Northwest, not Montana or Minnesota. Piece of Cake. No problemo. But guess what? We had the blizzard. Here.

It started last evening and continued through the night. At 1:15 a.m., the goatmother got up to take Cabra out. Snow was plastered on the window screens all the way up to the top. When she opened the door, a small wall of snow had to be removed before the Cabrarator could get through the door. Our highest wind speed was 46 mph, but there were places that had 100. I suppose we should be thankful for small favors, but the truth is snow blew into the barn via every crack it could find. It managed to find its way all the way to the back of the right side and managed even to infiltrate the sacred hay space despite the door being shut. I guess it wouldn't have been so bad except that an already small sleeping area got even smaller once everyone crammed into the no-snow zone. By morning things had calmed down considerably and we could venture out to survey the aftermath. Well, some of us ventured out.

Nothing stops the moles. They are like the U.S. Postal Service.

Everywhere, like valiant little soldiers, leaves were stuck upright in the snow, a testament to the fury of the blizzard.

Our beloved tire stood stoically, looking oddly like an iced Christmas pudding.

The goatfather's truck became stuck trying to get up the driveway. The neighbor had to come help. It's a darned good thing, too, since the goatfather's 'unsticking' efforts were causing the truck to slide sideways toward the pasture fence.

Naturally the goats ventured out to see what all the commotion was about. (Please note who is conspicuously absent. I am, in fact, firmly ensconced in the warm hay, but I did peer out once or twice just to keep up appearances.)

And there were tracks in the snow. There were large doggie tracks.

And there were small doggie tracks.

And there were bird tracks.

And then there were these tracks. Can you see them heading out toward the road through the grass? No?

Here's a better look. Notice the rather large size and the rather large claw marks at the front? Yes, my friends, this is the track of none other than a Black Bear. I thought all this time they were hibernating. Who knew? ...Oy...

The tracks went up the road and finally wandered off back into the woods. I say. OY. Obviously the guy was hungry. At any rate, I sure hope he doesn't have a taste for Peanuts.

Well, now, Winter. No wonder, waaay back in September, those Woolly Boogers, were trying to hide in the barn. Take my advice, Y'All. I've said it once, and I'll say it again. Always, but always trust a Woolly Booger when it comes to Winter.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It Came Upon A Mid-Day Clear

It was a cold December morning. Snow lay sparkling like iridescent ice-cream atop every inanimate object (and some animate ones too). It covered the fence posts with a frosty sheath, freezing everything it touched. That's how it happened.

What happened, Marigold? I think you've had one too many Peanuts.

No. Trust me. It was beyond anything. You see, in the morning the goatmother came out and opened the barn door. In order to do this, she must first pass through a gate into the paddock. The gate opens in either direction and has a latch mechanism on both sides. That is how it happened.

Oh, good grief! Will you just get on with the story.

Okay, well, the gate was opened this morning. In the afternoon, the goatmother was sitting at her computer when she heard the Mighty Quinn begin to whine desperately. She trudged dutifully down the stairs to let him out. That was the first problem because, in fact, it was really the parakeet, Crenshaw, imitating the Mighty Quinn whining and was not the Mighty Quinn at all. Nonetheless, the goatmother opened the door to let the dogs out and looked up just in time to see us coming up from the snow laden, brushy pasture.

Now I realize I said I would never set foot outside the barn as long as there was snow on the ground, but, well, frankly I just couldn't stand it in there with Ella a minute longer. Anyway, as the goatmother watched, she suddenly realized that no one was stopping at the gate and everyone was proceeding, in an orderly procession, toward the snow-blanketed garden. She dropped everything, grabbing for her boots and coat, and yelling to the goatfather that indeed, 'Houston we have a problem!' - the goats are out!!!

Really I don't understand what all the fuss was about. It's not like we were going very far. After all, there is snow on the ground. Plus, surely someone must have meant for us to explore new territory or the latch would never have inadvertently frozen open. I don't know how it took us so long to discover , but I blame Boo. Honestly, no one can see around anything that size.

So, the four of them, the goatmother, goatfather, the Mighty Quinn, and Cabra, came charging toward the barn. The goatfather was in the lead and Ella ran around to meet him (the turncoat). The Mighty Quinn veered off and that's when it happened.

There you go again. Get to the point already.

The goatmother looked up in time to see everyone (except Ella, of course) running for the lot. She wasn't really surprised until she saw Peanut run by the fence inside the lot so fast that he caused it to sway. Why was he running? That's when she saw the little tan ball of fuzz hot on his heels. HOLY FINKELBINDER! The downy dirt devil can HERD! We knew it was a possibility (remember this?), but we hardly expected her to live up to the image. I am ashamed to say that we allowed ourselves to be manipulated by a ball of fuzz with snowballs hanging off of it. How humiliating. Oh, the embarrassment that is mine.

Life will never be the same. The goatmother says it just goes to show: "Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what do do and let them surprise you with their results." - General George S. Patton.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

You see, it snowed. And then it snowed some more. Actually it snowed more than they said it would snow. Who knew? The Woolly Boogers, that's who! Perchance you remember that only two Woolly Boogers were viewed this last Fall (refresh your memory here), and there was speculation as to what exactly it meant that both were found inside the barn. At any rate, it is now official. They were getting the hay out of Dodge.

Anyway, below is me. You don't see me? That would be because I am behind the door, inside the barn like the Woolly Boogers. What is more, I don't intend to be seen outside the barn anytime soon.

It isn't so bad...really. There is lots of hay, and water that isn't frozen due to the goatmother's enlightened acquisition of a heated water bucket. Thank Goat! she has a few brain cells left.

Still, there is a downside, and that is being stuck inside the barn with Ella. Miss 'Good Egg', (who bragged about herself here) isn't such a 'good egg' anymore. In fact, I would put her into the 'bad egg' category and in the 'Cabra house'.
Why? Well, since we are more or less 'confined to quarters', when it came time this morning for our meager pittance of Peanuts, someone decided she would get more if she bit the hair on Peanut's back and performed one of her relentless slam-dunks on Watson's mid-section. He always freezes (Oh, please forgive the pun) and can't get out of the way. No one likes a bully, Ella. The goatmother was most displeased and said as much. In spades. Ad infinitum. Ella spent the remainder of the time following the goatmother around trying to rub her head on her - a blatant display of 'frozen-brown nosing' and quite nauseous.

So it is only 19 degrees after an overnight low of 18. What's up with that? It is supposed to get warmer during the day, but only up to 20 something. The forecast says more snow for this weekend and perhaps even up to Christmas. I'm all for a White Christmas, but you know, living with the Grinch of Goatdom just isn't that much fun. Still, with Christmas coming and all, perhaps some little corner of her heart will melt and the rest of us can find a little peace. It could happen.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Snow

This is what it looks like when it snows. Can you see all that white stuff in my pasture (lower right corner)? Oy and brrrr.

But as bad as it is for a goat, this is what it looks like if you are a fuzzy little farm dog that loves romping in the snow almost as much as romping in the mud.

And this is what your face looks like if you are a fuzzy little farm dog, who loves romping in the snow, and your buns are frozen along with the snowballs.

Quite sad, really. "It doesn't matter if the water is cold or warm if you're going to have to wade through it anyway." - Teilhard de Chardin, French Geologist, Priest, Philosopher and Mystic.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Return of the King

When you've got it, you've got it. That is a two-fold sentiment, since the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet is back visiting his mirrored buddies, AND the goatmother was actually fast enough to catch him at it.

Take a bow, little guy. We're mighty glad to see you back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Herding Ultimate

Marigold here. Just a brief note to say that I most SINCERELY hope the goatmother does NOT get any ideas from THIS. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Mysterious Case of the Marauded Mirror

It appeared one day. It had not been there before and then, all of a sudden, it simply was.
"What's this?", asked the goatfather. But, I knew what it was. Yes, indeed. I recognized the tell-tale signs right away. I turned to Watson and said, "Ah, Watson, my good man! Another mystery is afoot!"

So, to begin, allow me to provide you with photographic evidence of the occurrence. What you see below is the side-view mirror of the goatfather's truck. Mind you I do not pay attention to THE TRUCK as a matter of course. This is due to the fact that I had to ride in it once upon a time. I can't say it is my fondest memory, yet it did hold a certain air of adventure. Nonetheless, when I observed the goatfather's dismay at the obvious violation of his sacred vehicle, I knew my services were required. So who or what had come to leave this dastardly, excremental affirmation of its existence? It was a conundrum.

Watson and I set up round-the-clock surveillance of the area. We noticed right away that the other vehicle bore much the same deposition. It was obvious to us that extreme vigilance would be required in order to catch the culprit.

Finally the little blighter was caught in the act. It was, in fact, a small, yet nefarious ornithological specimen. (No. The goatmother did not take this photo. She is not nearly fast enough.)

It was a Ruby Crowned Kinglet. It seems he had wandered by the mirror one day, only to note that an infidel in a small, shiny box was trying to gain access to HIS territory. To make matters worse, there was not only one but four of these heathens! The nerve! Naturally, the Kinglet felt it was his bounden duty to rid the premises of these inferior feathered would-be usurpers and proceeded to take matters into his own hands - er feet. Again and again he flew at the fellows only to be beaten back.

Then Watson, the goatmother and myself noticed the Kinglet at the barn. He was on the ground. A strange place for a bird. He seemed to be trying to get up next to the barn as though to get warm. The goatmother noticed that he did not look well and, in fact, seemed hurt - perhaps the victim of battle fatigue or Gulf War Syndrome- who can be sure. She scooped him up and made a small nest in the hay in order to keep him warm. A day passed. The goatmother went to look, fully expecting to find the cold remains of the intrepid, albeit confused, mirror marauder. Instead, the nest was empty! A crime, but no body. Oy.

Later, as she was looking out the window, who should appear on a branch and fully fit, but our brave little friend. Our hearts were gladdened, for even though he left a mess in his wake, we had all become rather fond of him.

A light broke in upon my soul –

It was the carol of a bird;

It ceased – and then it came again

The sweetest song ear ever heard.

- Lord Byron